"Black Jack" (CC BY 2.0) by micora

“Black Jack” (CC BY 2.0) by micora

How does the ultimate geek use their cerebral skills to their advantage and overcome the odds against the house? Simple: you learn how to play blackjack using the latest online tech. In fact, as the latest innovations from CES 2017, such as augmented reality software and smart watches, have shown, the internet and related tech keep on innovating, along with the devices that allow access to it.

Unlike many casino games, blackjack offers players the chance to turn the tables in their favour through a combination of timing and logic. For example, a skilled player will know when the best time to “hit” and when the best time to “stand” is, based on the dealer’s face card. Using something known as a blackjack chart, players can learn the statistically best moves for any given scenario at the table.

By finding their two-card holding and then tracing along the chart to find the dealer’s face card, players will know whether the number say they should hit, stand, split or double. For instance, if the player had an opening total of 15 and the dealer had a 5, the chart says they should stand. The logic behind this move is that the chances of the player going bust in a bid to improve their total are fairly high.

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OK, this sounds great, but what if I can’t see the dealer’s face cards? In a blackjack variant such as Pontoon, the aim of the game remains the same but the way you play will be slightly different. In situations like this, the internet comes to help once again. You see, instead of having to pay for a way to learn, you can take advantage of the practice tables offered by the industry’s top operators. For instance, novices can get an insight into the top casinos that offer online pontoon blackjack through Online Casino Canada’s independent reviews.

In addition to offering an overview of the operator and its various bonuses, the site breaks down the games on offer and, importantly, if they can be played for free. It’s these free or practice games that give you the chance to become the next Rain Main without breaking the bank. After creating an account with one of the many online casinos out there, you’ll notice that the lobbies offer one of two options: “play for free/demo mode” and “play for real”.

The reason online casinos offer free games is twofold. Firstly, online casino gaming is essentially about entertainment, so it follows that players shouldn’t have to pay to play. In fact, the social casino industry (free-play casinos linked to social media sites) is now worth more than $2.7 billion/£2.1 billion in the US alone.

Become a Blackjack Geek for Free

"Touch on Laptop Screens" (CC BY 2.0) by IntelFreePress

“Touch on Laptop Screens” (CC BY 2.0) by IntelFreePress

The second reason online casinos offer free games is because they’re a great training ground for aspiring players. This is particularly useful if you’re trying to learn blackjack and then transition to one of its variants, namely Pontoon. In this game, the dealer’s face cards are concealed until you’ve made your moves. This dynamic means you’re unable to use a chart to guide your play as you would in blackjack. However, because the game is played with a single deck, you actually have a better chance of beating the dealer.

By joining a practise table, you’ll have the ability to not only experience what it’s like playing with a single deck, but how often certain numbers appear. For example, in Pontoon, there will be 20 cards with a value of 10 and four with a value of 11 (aces). In regular blackjack with six decks in play, there will be 120 10s and 20 aces. From this, you can start to see that hitting on middling totals is more sensible in Pontoon than blackjack.

However, only by knowing that the rules are different and then testing it out for free online can you develop the perfect strategy. In short, if you’re looking to become a blackjack geek, you need to embrace technology. This means using online sites and mobile apps to build up a fundamental understanding of each game and then going out and testing them in demo games. Only once you’ve got the perfect combination of theory and practise, can you really get the most out of this casino game.

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